Research Topic

Lyme Disease: Recent Advances and Perspectives

About this Research Topic

The interplay between host and pathogen is a complex co-evolutionary battle of surveillance and evasion. The pathogen continuously develops mechanisms to subvert the immune response in order to establish infection while the immune system responds with novel mechanisms of detection. Because the majority of ...

The interplay between host and pathogen is a complex co-evolutionary battle of surveillance and evasion. The pathogen continuously develops mechanisms to subvert the immune response in order to establish infection while the immune system responds with novel mechanisms of detection. Because the majority of Lyme disease pathology is due to an over-exuberant immune response, much research in Borrelia burgdorferi pathogenesis has been devoted to understanding the mammalian host response to the bacterium. Immunological studies continue to be an active area of research employing emerging techniques, such as intra-vital imaging. These studies have furthered our understanding of inflammatory processes during long-term infection and provided some surprising insights, such as the continued presence of bacterial products after clearance. The field of Lyme disease has long debated the etiology of long-term inflammation and recent studies in the murine host have shed light on relevant cell types and inflammatory mediators that participate in the pathology of Lyme arthritis. Live imaging and bioluminescent studies have allowed for a novel view of the bacterial life cycle, including the tick mid-gut, tick-to-mammal transmission and dissemination throughout a mouse. A number of tick and bacterial proteins have been shown to participate in the completion of the enzootic cycle. Novel mechanisms of gene regulation are continuously being identified. However, B. burgdorferi lacks many traditional virulence factors, such as toxins or specialized secretion systems. Many genes in the B. burgdorferi genome have no known homolog in other bacteria. Therefore, studies focusing on host-pathogen interactions have therefore been limited by an incomplete understanding of the repertoire of bacterial virulence factors. Questions such as how the pathogen causes disease, colonizes the tick and evades host immune-surveillance have been difficult to address. Genetic studies involving single gene deletions have identified a number of important bacterial proteins, but a large-scale genomics approach to identify virulence factors has not been attempted until recently. The generation of a site-directed mutagenesis library is an important step towards a detailed analysis of the B. burgdorferi genome and pathogenome. Using this library, high-throughput genomic studies, utilizing techniques such as massively parallel sequencing have been promising and could be used to identify novel virulence determinants of disease in the mammalian host or persistence in the tick vector. Continued research on this unique pathogen and its specific interaction with host and vector may have far reaching consequences and provide insights for diverse disciplines including ecology, infectious disease, and immunology. Here, several reviews will discuss the most recent advances and future studies to be undertaken in the field of B. burgdorferi biology.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent Articles

Loading..

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Comments

Loading..

Add a comment

Add comment
Back to top